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Shards Paperback – July 1, 2009


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"An Unwelcome Quest"
Ever since Martin Banks and his fellow computer geeks discovered reality is just software, they've been happily jaunting back and forth through time. Who knew that rotten Todd would escape, then conjure a game packed with wolves, wastelands and other harrowing hazards--and trap his hapless former hack-mates inside it? Find out more author Scott Meyer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Brimstone Press (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980567726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980567724
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cummings' work possesses a Stephen King-like quality, creating rich and colourful characters in a handful of words ... Well worth the read."
--Mark Smith-Briggs, HorrorScope

"With Shards, Shane Jiraiya Cummings takes us on a guided tour of the darkest backroads of the imagination. It is wonderfully moody and creepy." --Jonathan Maberry

"Shane Jiraiya Cummings with Shards shows he is not only a master of the flash fiction style of writing but has pretty much written the definitive statement on how it should work."
--Jeff Ritchie, ScaryMinds

About the Author

Shane Jiraiya Cummings has been acknowledged as "one of Australia's leading voices in dark fantasy". He is the author of bestselling titles such as The Smoke Dragon and the Apocrypha Sequence (Deviance, Divinity, Inferno, and Insanity) and editor of the acclaimed anthology Rage Against the Night. Shane has had more than one hundred short stories published in Australia, North America, Europe, and Asia, and his work has been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, and Polish.

He has won two Ditmar Awards, and he has been nominated for more than twenty other major awards including Spain's Premios Ignotus. 

Shane is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association and former Vice President of the Australian Horror Writers Association. When he is not writing, Shane is an editor and journalist by day and a sword fighting instructor by night. 

In his youth, Shane was trained in the deadly arts of the ninja, and the name Jiraiya (lit. "Young Thunder", after the legendary ninja Jiraiya) was bestowed upon him by his sensei.

Shane currently lives in New Zealand, and his home on the web is jiraiya.com.au

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sean the Bookonaut on February 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Shards by Shane Jiraiya Cummings is as its subheading spells out; a collection of short, sharp, tales.

A collection of polished flash fiction, it leaves the reader with poignant imagery and as horror, a lingering sense of unease.

Bad flash can be like a half rendered idea, an unfinished thought - thankfully Shards is a collection of carefully crafted work that leaves you with a sense of foreboding, or wishing you hadn't just eaten.

Like any collection there are things the reader will prefer dependent on their own tastes and experience. While there were pieces that didn't grab me as a reader, there was nothing in the collection that felt to me as if it were padding.

There is a sense here that Shards is a bit of a showcase of what Cummings is capable of as a horror writer. While all tinged with the macabre there is breadth and depth in its offerings. We have the delicious and darkly humorous Smoldering Eyes at only 5 lines long, the witty Revision is Murder and the rather grotesque Itch.

My three top picks though were:

R U OK - terrifying in its depiction of a very realistic and plausible situation

Post Card from Paris (a reply) - again because the story skirts the edge of plausibility - this horrifying situation could happen.

Congo Jenga - almost for its title alone, as an excellent metaphor for the tale it names. This tale riffs nicely of the dangers of traveling the dark continent and the punishment that awaits those with dark desires.

A reader might be forgiven for thinking that writing flash is easy because it's short, I think like poetry though, writing good flash, polished flash is a skill that requires practice. And Shards is the collection of a well practiced horror writer.
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More About the Author

Shane Jiraiya Cummings has been acknowledged as "one of Australia's leading voices in dark fantasy". He is the author of bestselling titles such as The Smoke Dragon and the Apocrypha Sequence (Deviance, Divinity, Inferno, and Insanity) and editor of the acclaimed anthology Rage Against the Night. Shane has had more than one hundred short stories published in Australia, North America, Europe, and Asia, and his work has been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, and Polish.

He has won two Ditmar Awards, and he has been nominated for more than twenty other major awards including Spain's Premios Ignotus.

Shane is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association and former Vice President of the Australian Horror Writers Association. When he is not writing, Shane is an editor and journalist by day and a sword fighting instructor by night.

In his youth, Shane was trained in the deadly arts of the ninja, and the name Jiraiya (lit. "Young Thunder", after the legendary ninja Jiraiya) was bestowed upon him by his sensei.

Shane currently lives in Sydney, Australia, and his home on the web is www.jiraiya.com.au

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